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It's Close to Midnight!
Transcript of It's Close to Midnight!
Halloween Sugar Rush
There are some 36 million potential trick-or-treaters (children aged 5 to 13) in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 2009 the average American consumed 24.3 pounds (11 kilograms) of candy, much of it during the Halloween season, according to census data.
Do You Believe in Magic?
More than a third of Americans say they believe in ghosts, according to an AP-Ipsos poll conducted before Halloween 2007. Twenty-three percent claimed to have seen a ghost or sensed one's presence.
About one in five people believe that spells or witchcraft are real, according to the poll.
Americans give about 20 million Halloween greeting cards a year, according to Hallmark Cards' website.
"The first Halloween cards that we can detect in the U.S. were produced in 1908," Deidre Parks, a spokesperson for Hallmark, told National Geographic News in 2008.
Halloween's origins date back more than 2,000 years. On what we consider November 1, Europe's Celtic peoples celebrated their New Year's Day, called Samhain (SAH-win).
On Samhain eve—what we know as Halloween—spirits were thought to walk the Earth as they traveled to the afterlife. Fairies, demons, and other creatures were also said to be abroad.
Christian Influence on Halloween
Samhain was later transformed as Christian leaders co-opted pagan holidays. In the seventh century Pope Boniface IV decreed November 1 All Saints' Day, or All Hallows' Day.
The night before Samhain continued to be observed with bonfires, costumes, and parades, though under a new name: All Hallows' Eve—later "Halloween."
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Halloween Arrives in America
European immigrants brought Halloween to the United States, and the celebration really gathered steam in the 1800s, when Irish-American immigration exploded.
Anoka, Minnesota, may be home to the United States' oldest official Halloween celebration. Beginning in 1920, the city began staging a parade and bonfire.
Anoka historians say townsfolk wanted to curb Halloween pranks that loosed cows on Main Street and upended outhouses.
In addition to sacrificing animals to the gods and gathering around bonfires, Celts often wore costumes—probably animal skins—to confuse spirits, perhaps to avoid being possessed, according to the American Folklife Center at the U.S. Library of Congress.
By wearing masks or blackening their faces, Celts are also thought to have impersonated dead ancestors.
Young men may have dressed as women and vice versa, marking a temporary breakdown of normal social divisions.
In an early form of trick-or-treating, Celts costumed as spirits are believed to have gone from house to house engaging in silly acts in exchange for food and drink—a practice inspired perhaps by an earlier custom of leaving food and drink outdoors as offerings to supernatural beings.
Michael Jackson's "Thriller": How One Album Changed the World
(1) With sales of 29 million, according to the RIAA, "Thriller" is the best-selling studio album in U.S. history. The set is tied with the Eagles' best-of collection, "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975."
(2) "Thriller" has spent the most weeks (37) atop the Billboard 200 of any album by a single artist. Only the "West Side Story" soundtrack (54) has reigned longer.
(3) The "Thriller" No. 1s "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" are two of Jackson's 13 Hot 100 leaders, the most of any solo male artist.
(4) "Thriller" became the first album to generate seven Hot 100 top 10 hits.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
HAVE A SCARY DAY!!!